Did you know that more than 75 percent of all legitimate websites suffer from unpatched vulnerabilities? That is an awful lot of websites with tons of sensitive information which could easily fall into the wrong hands. Just imagine if all those credit card numbers, passwords, and even some classified information were to be exposed and compromised by hackers, as well as all the resulting damage looming on the horizon. Ironic as it may seem, it does not take much to add at least some basic layer of security and protect your websites and customers from cybercriminals.
Use strong passwords:
This is a no-brainer and something that has been repeated countless times, right? Maybe, but according to the 2017 Verizon DBIR, 81 percent of breaches leveraged either stolen or weak passwords. So, if you do not want to make your websites easy targets for hackers, use long, complex passwords composed of both uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numerals. Also, do not forget to change your password every three to four months to prevent potential guesswork. The longer you are using the same combination, the easier it is for cybercriminals to crack it.
Switch websites to HTTPS:
Not only is moving your websites to HTTPS a must for security reasons but it also has become a ranking signal which can seriously impact your SEO. All this particularly applies if you collect any sensitive data from your visitors. They will most certainly think twice whether to trust you with their credit card or social security numbers if they do not see that green padlock in the address bar. This security protocol uses encryption. It renders any information intercepted by hackers totally unintelligible and completely worthless as it cannot be deciphered without the key.
Opt for secure hosting:
Secure hosting is another key pillar of security, as it is keeping your website fortified and impenetrable. It is true that opting for a reputable hosting company is not cheap. However, do not fall into the trap of believing that only big corporations need this level of protection because cybercriminals do not discriminate. Besides, no matter how small your business is, hackers see it as a method of worming their way into bigger companies with which you cooperate. In other words, this is not the place or time to cut corners and be stingy. It is very important to find a host which will keep your data backed up at a remote location and offer constant tech support.
Update your software:
Keeping your installed software and plugins up-to-date is crucial for the safety of your website. Bad guys are always on the prowl, looking for any unpatched vulnerabilities and security flaws. If the version of the software you are using is not the latest one, it is very likely that it contains some security holes and can be used to compromise your whole website. So, do not ignore notifications to install the latest upgrades of any program or tool. Also, make sure to remove unused and obsolete plugins or software as they are practically a security accident waiting to happen. If you are unsure about the condition of your updates and plugins, make sure to ever so often seek professional help. There are cracks that even the most experienced webmasters among us will miss. So, running a thorough check once in a while will make sure everything is up-to-date and protected.
Scan for vulnerabilities:
And do it as often as possible. Even some big companies, including Adobe, Apple, and JPMorgan Chase, have fallen victim to multimillion-dollar security leaks. It is clear that such incidents can happen to the best of us. However, if you are vigilant and if you scan your website for potential vulnerabilities, you can keep trouble at bay. Schedule regular scans and always perform additional checks when you add a new component or install new software.
These straightforward tips can be of great help when it comes to making your website more secure, but you need to take them seriously.
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